Invitation to Geunja and the Vinka family
We would love to give you a deeper connection to our Sami cultural heritage, landscapes and traditions, -all linked together for a richer lifestyle.
The beauty of traveling responsibly
We greet you to our home Geunja and Vindelfjällen. This is a place where we have lived for centuries and over 35 years invited people to our home. Season, weather and wind guide us to our daily chores and activities. Take part in our everyday life, taste culinary Sami flavors and listen to storytelling thru generations. We start with a beautiful boat ride over the lake with mountains on both sides of us, followed by a walk around all the sami buildings, an introduction to the world of the Sami, mythology, food traditions and wildlife in the Arctic.
For the surrounding nature and wildlife to remain as untouched as possible, we welcomes twelve groups of guests a year and maximum 12 guest each time on package arrangements. Day trips are also offered.
June to september
Price 1995:- sek/person. Price include;
- Short information about Vindelfjällen Nature reserve
- Boat transfer
- Tour of Geunja
- Local Sami host/guide
- Take part in daily life
- Light lunch / snack with Sami culinary ingredients, coffee and soft drink
- Stories in the Goathie - Torvkåta ("Sami tipi")
A Royal Hike – Kungsleden Boat Transport
The most famous and longest hiking trail in Sweden is the ’King’s Route', or Kungsleden as we say.
You can start or end your Kungsleden hike with a beautiful boat transport into Vindelfjällen. Remember that the mountains are the Sámi people's working place, and the reindeers place to rest. We are more than happy to provide you with important information and instructions on how to hike in a respectful way.
Boat transport +46(0) 70 - 602 90 88 or +46(0) 70- 213 85 85
Personal invitation to the Vinka family
Geunja a full-on experience 2023
Welcome be a part of the Vinka family and a helping hand for nature and culture conservation. There are special departures with set dates for individual in mixed groups. As an example, Full board 2 nights and three days experience: 18 995 SEK per person. Mini 6 persons, max 12 persons. Extended tour by 24 hours, 7500 SEK per person. 2023 on request.
Geunja a full-on experience 2024
Set dates for individual in mixed groups 2024
20-23th June (Midsummer)
Meetings and conferences
For a personal invitation to the Vinka family, kindly give a call +46(0) 70- 213 85 85 or +46(0) 70-602 90 88
With all our love, take care and keep on staying safe! Vårradahkh / Best Regards Mikael Vinka with family
A story from one of our guests!
Our journey begins by the end of the road. And “the end of the road” is to be taken literally; it’s not allegorical in a Dantean kind of way – the Route 363, going from the coast to the mountains, comes to a watery halt by the Tjulträsket Lake. But, to quote the villagers in Ammarnäs: where the road ends, the adventure begins.
Where the road ends, the adventure begins
Mikael Vinka picks us up by boat, and we race across the grand lake to reach the cove where Geunja Sámi Eco Lodge stands. The stead looks like it’s been there for centuries: the silvery and withered timber walls of the buildings, the grass-clad roofs, the Sami goahti and outhouses standing on legs of graceful mountain birch. While it can’t be said that anything is spoken loudly in Geunja, it is a place where tradition and sustainability is allowed to speak the loudest, permeating everything from building construction and materials to the food served and the stories told.
Our first evening at Geunja is spent in the goahti. We are sitting around the fire on aromatic birch branches, enjoying the atmosphere and having our dinner – a stew made from sautéed reindeer slices, served with potatoes, lingonberries, flatbread and cheese. Mikael Vinka tells us about everything from the construction and function of the goahti to its traditions, such as how the family is placed, how you show your respect. We learn about Sarakka, the goddess of the hearth, and Mikael tells us how his grandfather entered this particular goahti flying through the smoke, in spirit form and the shape of a snow-white ptarmigan. Mikael is an excellent storyteller and everyone is spellbound listening to him. And this is where magic happens: everyone has a story of their own. No question is too stupid to ask. The conversations are low-key and capturing. We start conversing and listening that evening, and we keep conversing, and listening, our whole stay.And: the calmness, here too. Someone falls asleep on the hides. Another one rests her head in her husband’s lap.
A full-on experience
Being there is a full-on experience. While the accommodation, the food and the storytelling is magical, it would be unfair to describe only those parts. For example: I get to see my first ever wild beaver that morning, swimming right next to me on our boat trip into the small river delta. In fact, the water is so clear I could count the pebbles on the bottom without a problem. It is an enjoyable excursion, and Mikael is an amazing guide, talking about the surrounding wildlife and vegetation.
We stay there for three nights. We were only meant to stay two night, and go home after lunch – a mouth-watering chanterelle soup; everything we eat at Geunja comes from the pantry of the surrounding nature – but the mere thought of it makes us both cringe. I really don’t want to leave that blissful bubble where nothing else matters but now. It is a very comforting bubble. We’re gracefully invited to stay another night, and Mikael helps us to connect with the outside world and our babysitter.
We can do whatever we want that afternoon. Some of the guests decide to take a walk in the mountain. Some of them want to go fishing. And we spend our afternoon resting in the sun, cuddling the dog and falling asleep together on the grass, before enjoying the sauna extraordinaire and a cold, but pleasant, swim in the lake. Mikael joins the group in the sauna, and shares stories about everything one could imagine – amongst stories about how Geunja was built and stories from the nature reserve, he talks fondly about how the Crown Princess of Sweden inaugurated Geunja.
One thing to know about Mikael is that he collects stories. Being who he is, from a Sami descent, this means he has also been collecting lore and traditional knowledge. It’s apparent Mikael feels passionately about remembering, honoring and practicing old Sami and Arctic knowledge, traditions and customs, as well as transferring those experiences to others. Meeting him means learning, in a very pleasant way.
It’s like being a family, only a bit more harmoniousWe go to bed late that night. In a way you could describe Geunja as a magical place, a Wonderland of the mountains, the grand escape where you lose track of time and space. The rest of the world could be destroyed in a holocaust, for all we know; all of us are present in the moment and that is all that matters. We eat when we get hungry; we sleep whenever we feel like it and we wake up as the day breaks and the pale morning sunshine shows.
A couple of guests choose to sleep in the goahti that night. We – me and my husband – have beds in one of the lodges. There is no electricity at Geunja, but the beds are comfortable – even when we decide to use only one of the beds and fall asleep entangled – and there are candles, a kerosene lamp and a small iron stove to make the room even more pleasant and inviting.
One of the things about Geunja is that all the guests help out making food, doing dishes and tidying up – or with haymaking, when it’s time for that, Mikael tells me. I get to cook the porridge for breakfast, and the char that one of the guests catches that day ends up being on our dinner plates later. It’s like being a family, only a bit more harmonious, doing dishes outdoors, laughing together, with the sun warming us.
"I´m still in the mindset of Geunja"
We go home, accompanied over the lake by Mikael and the family dog. It is a strange feeling landing on the shores of Tjulträsket, going back to another kind of civilization. But the following days, I’m still in the mindset of Geunja, forgetting about my smartphone and being in the moment. It is a lovely memory. May it never go away. Text by: Maria Broberg.
More stories ...
We have travel guarantee provided by Kammarkollegiet, necessary permits to run the business, liability insurance and an F-tax certificate.
All images on this website are copyrighted. Many thanks
to the photographer Jess McGlothlin, Staffan Widstrand, Ola
Jennersten,Ted Logardt, Robert Hansson, Maria Broberg, Ulrika Lemmel and guests of
Geunja who contributed images to the website. Please give us feedback! © 2022 by Lappland
safari - Geunja Sami Ecolodge in Vindelfjällen Ammarnäs a part of Swedish